Lonnie Teague was living independently at home with his wife when he contracted COVID-19 in October.
“It hit nice and hard,” Lonnie said.
Lonnie spent about a month at the hospital, including time in the ICU on a ventilator. He wasn’t alert and doesn’t remember that time period. He was extremely weak when he was considered recovered enough to leave the hospital.
“I couldn’t sit up,” Lonnie shared. “I couldn’t hold a spoon to feed myself.”
On Nov. 10, 2020, Lonnie came to Life Care Center of Cleveland, Tennessee, for therapy. Physical and occupational therapists started slowly trying to rebuild his strength, starting with rolling in bed and sitting tolerance. They worked mostly in his room, helping him regain his self-care abilities, such as getting dressed and bathing. Speech therapist Jesse Paz worked with him on his memory, cognition and swallowing. And Lonnie worked hard.
“I wanted to do everything I could do,” Lonnie said. “The therapists helped by pushing me. They know what they’re doing.”
Therapists also helped Lonnie with breathing and energy conservation techniques.
Lonnie returned home to his wife on Dec. 11. He can walk between 40-50 feet at a time now, feed himself and dress himself. He has home health and family to help him continue rebuilding his strength.
“Mr. Teague has done amazing,” said Chad Grisham, director of rehab services. “Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, he’s made progress. We’re still seeing some successful things happen.”